Sunday, June 11, 2017
TLR CHAPTER 123
After the grooms had headed home, Coral’s Mother invited Lydia to come to her bungalow so she wouldn’t be alone while the men folk headed off together.
James smiled at Jeff, looking at the fathers and grinned. "Well, let's take these men over to the bunkhouse so they can help get the party ready to bring to Coral and Ryan."
"Sounds good. We still have a little gathering of things like chairs and such to do, so we'll have plenty of time, and with all the guys there helping it won't take long," Jeff replied.
Omari grinned when James and Jeff told him about the bachelor party. "Can't wait," he said. "I've been looking forward to this for a long time."
Jerome was surprised to be invited but smiled. "I haven’t been to a bachelor party in some time. Thanks for inviting me even after the way I was acting."
Omari smiled at Jerome and replied, "One of the biggest rules in my house is forgiveness. What's in the past is past and done with. Alright?"
The other man nodded secretly relieved and said quietly, "Thank you."
Heath put his arm around Jax, "Let's go see if they need any help, Hon.” Then he turned to James. "See you at the bunkhouse, JW."
When they arrived, Bo and the twins, as well as Mutt and Torren were busy packing up a snack table while Adam looked through DVDs, choosing action/adventure and comedy in case they actually got around to watching movies. Bo and Dean, along with Griff looked through the selection of mature board games and smiled at a few of them, putting them into yes and no piles.
Dean chuckled. “Smartass?” he asked Bo holding up one of the games the man had placed in the yes pile.
Bo laughed as he agreed, “Sounds like fun.”
Dean read the outside game description and grinned. “I agree.”
Griff read the description and blushed, but agreed with the other men.
Ryan snuggled up as close as he could to Coral and continued to stroke his kitten as it purred in his ear. "When will I have to go to Brody and Harry's?" he asked.
"Not until a little later, Angel," his lover replied, "we have plenty of time to just relax and enjoy ourselves before you have to head out. And don't worry, Hon, like I said, I'm only a phone call away if you need me. I have every faith that Brody and Harry will take very good care of you. I wouldn't agree to this otherwise. I promise to take very good care of Castiel too. Alright?"
The young man nodded and stayed cuddled up to Coral, while the furry feline snuggled close to them.
James arrived at the bunkhouse with Jeff and smiled as he walked in with the fathers. "It looks like we’re making good progress," he commented.
“Thanks,” Shorty said. "Do you think it's about time to contact the guests of honor?"
The resort owner replied, "I think it's almost time... we need for Spencer and Warren to arrive. They should be here soon."
Jerome nodded. "It looks like everything that’s needed has been readied.” He glanced at the mature games and smiled. “Well I'll be... " he shook his head and grinned at Omari, "these look rather interesting."
Omari looked at the selection and grinned. "This looks like it's going to be fun. I sure as heck can't play these kinds of games around Zahra," he laughed.
Jerome shook his head with a little smile. “Lydia would faint dead away and then berate me for being so disgusting.”
Warren watched as Spencer put the finishing touches on his drag outfit. "If I didn't know there actually was a man under there I'd be scared," he joked.
Spencer grinned and said, "All ready."
Warren escorted his partner to the bunkhouse.
Jerome's eyes widened when the two men came through the door. "A woman?" he asked Omari.
The vision of Spencer in drag brought out wolf whistles and good-natured laughter.
James, noticing the boy’s fathers staring at the man decked out in drag said, “She’s one of our bakery workers, Spencer.”
"Spencer? Isn't that a man's name?" Jerome asked, confused.
"It certainly is." James replied with a wide grin.
Omari smiled. "She looks good, doesn't she?"
"Yep, that's our Spencer." Jeff grinned, overhearing the conversation. "She likes to dress up for special occasions."
Jerome replied in surprise, "It's a... a man?" He frowned slightly, thinking to himself that he was glad that his son didn't do something like this...it was bad enough he was going to marry a man and he had said what he did to Ry about a wedding gown at the time, not really believing his son would do such a thing...at least he hoped not. He wasn't even sure what enjoyment the men could get out of a man dressed up in this manner. He glanced at Jeff and said, "It's... different." Not wanting to insult the men and be kicked out of the party.
Dean stood nearby grinning at the father’s reactions to Spencer, remembering his own astonishment the first time he had seen the young man in drag.
Griff’s eyes widened when he saw Spencer, not recognizing him at first either, then smiling when he heard it was him.
Jax glanced at his partners, smiling at the sight.
James and Heath smiled back at their boy.
Jeff smiled at the other man and said, "Everyone likes to have fun in their own way, express themselves. Some paint, some write songs or books, others have fun with their other side and let it come out, like Spencer does, for special occasions."
Jerome gave a little shrug. "To each his own they say, but since this is for my son and his future husband I'll make no objections."
Jeff raised an inquiring eyebrow and asked quietly, "If she had been born a woman, would you have had any objections?"
Ryan's father shook his head. "No, none at all."
While they talked, Madame LeStrange walked around the room, flirting and laughing with the men in attendance.
"Well, she is a woman. So, there's no problem."
The man nodded. "Yes, I can see she truly looks like a woman and so I shall treat her like one."
Jerome looked around and swallowed before asking a little nervously, "She's not going to do a... strip tease or anything like that... is she?"
Jeff chuckled and replied, "No, she's a real lady, and a great entertainer. But I have to say, if she did, I'm sure it would have been done tastefully."
Jerome gave a small smile of relief. "All right...thank you."
"Gentlemen, let me introduce our entertainment for the night," Shorty yelled out. "Madam LeStrange!"
Madam LeStrange walked in swinging her hips and sashaying around and throwing kisses.
A round of applause followed the announcement.
James said, "We'd better call the guests of honor and make sure they're home before the party gets started without them."
"Good idea," Jeff replied.
"Quiet down the crowd and I'll call Coral," Shorty said.
James gave out a sharp whistle. "Quiet everyone so Shorty can give the guests of honor a call!"
Everyone fell silent, although they were grinning and suppressing laughter.
Coral heard the phone ring and unwillingly let go of Ryan to answer it. He saw the caller ID. "Heya Shorty, what's up?"
Ryan pouted as the phone rang and his lover had to leave him.
"I just wanted to make sure everything was ok," Shorty replied when the man answered.
"Of course, why wouldn't things be ok?" Coral asked curiously.
"Well," Shorty replied, trying to sound sheepish, "I know what a handful Ry can be, and I just wanted to make sure you two were alright. I hope I didn't interrupt anything."
"No, we're just sitting here enjoying the time we have left until he has to leave," Coral assured the older man.
"Alright then," Shorty said, "good night, Coral. My best to Ry."
"Goodnight, Shorty." Coral grinned before he hung up the phone.
Ryan looked over at his future husband. "What did Shorty want?"
"Just to make sure we were alright. He was worried that we'd be nervous. You're not nervous, are you Angel?" the older man asked softly as he walked over and sat down beside his fiancé, throwing an arm over his boy's shoulders.
Ryan said, "Not as long as I'm in your arms Coral." He snuggled closer and Cas draped himself across both men's shoulders.
The older man laughed softly and said, "It's too bad we didn't have more time to train Cas. He'd have made a great ring bearer, don't you think?"
Ryan grinned. "Uh huh, I think so."
Coral leaned forward as much as he was able with the half-grown kitten purring in his ear, and kissed his future husband full on the lips. "We're going to have a beautiful day tomorrow. It's supposed to be sunny and in the mid to high 70s. And we'll be legally married. Mr. and Mr. O'Donnell-Okoro." He grinned. "Sounds good, doesn't it?"
Ryan kissed Coral back and then pulling away grinned and said, "Yes, very good. I can't believe we're actually getting married."
"And James and Duke have already ok'd our two-week vacation for our honeymoon cruise to Hawaii. We're going to have a great time." Coral smiled.
Before Ryan could answer, there was a knock at the door. His eyes widened as he looked at the clock. "It's too early!" he exclaimed. "I'm not supposed to leave yet! Tell them I can't leave yet!" he cried in a panic.
Coral frowned, it wasn't time for Ryan to leave, and they hadn't been expecting anyone. He was sure it wasn't some sort of emergency because then Duke would have called him. Cautiously he answered the door and found his father standing on the porch.
"Dad?" Coral blinked in surprise.
All of a sudden, multiple voices shouted, "Surprise!" and the men who had been standing off to the sides converged on the door.
"Guys... what..." was all that Coral managed to get out before the gang of men burst out into applause for the grooms to be.
Ryan's green eyes grew larger and larger as he watched the proceedings in shock. He had heard Coral's surprised, "Dad?" and then the many voices calling, "Surprise!"
Coral laughed at the sight of Spencer as Madame LeStrange, and invited the men inside. He wasn't surprised to see men carrying in extra chairs, trays of snacks, and crates of soda. Big Jake followed close behind with another crate of sparkling cider, while Mutt, Torren and Adam entered carrying bags full of paper plates, utensils and disposable cups. The twins entered loaded down with bags of chips and dip.
Castiel's head went side to side watching everyone and seeing Mutt let out a loud meow!
Ryan laughed and rubbed the large kitten. "Uncle Mutt will say hello to you as soon as he's able to baby boy."
Duke, Dean, Griff and Big Jake went back outside and carried in extra fold out tables and set everything up in the kitchen. Spencer reached into his sequined bag and took out a tablecloth that looked as though it were made of lace and proceeded to place it on the table with Griff’s help.
James smiled as he, Martin and Greg helped bring in trays of hors d’oeuvres.
Jerome squeezed Ryan's shoulder in a rare gesture of affection.
Ryan was surprised to see his own father there and smiled at his touch.
Harry and Brody made their way over to Ryan. Harry hugged him. "This way you just have to come with us when the party's over," he told the young man.
Ryan grinned. "Thanks, this is great Harry. I'd guess this was you and Duke's doin'?"
The young man’s best man grinned and exchanged a look with Duke across the room. "Guilty as charged."
Duke went over to Coral with Dean on his heels. "Cor... we even were able to get some umm...interestin' games to play." He winked and leered at the man.
“Intrestin’ doesn’t even begin to describe them,” Dean quipped.
Coral visibly reddened under his dark skin and glanced, embarrassed, at his father who only grinned and winked at his son in response.
Mutt, Adam, Jax and Torren had finished laying things out on the tables, while Gary, Mike and Charles placed the snacks in the center in easy reach. Cary made himself useful by setting up pots of tea and coffee, and the very quiet Tank put out sugar, cream and anything else he could think of. He was much more comfortable in the kitchen than in the very full living room. He would have stayed there if Cary hadn't taken him by the arm and led him back into the din.
As the men set up things Madam LeStrange went over to the grooms and whispered to them. They whispered in return, smiling and hoping their fathers would be surprised.
Torren set up his CD player and queued Warren.
Warren got up with a grin and said in a loud voice, "Introducing our main attraction tonight, Madame LeStrange!"
His announcement was met with applause by the resort residents and the fathers of the grooms. He was pleased to see the wide smile on Jerome's face.
Ry looked at Coral confused not understanding why his father appeared to be there and okay with Spencer. "Cor..." He wrinkled his nose and his green eyes reflected his confusion. "Why is my father here...and lookin' like he's okay with this?" he whispered.
Coral grinned and put an arm around his lover's shoulders, leaned in and whispered, "Ah, Ry, it was bound to happen. Our little Jerome is finally growing up."
The younger man snuggled into his fiancé and smiled. "Good, it's about time," he said quietly for Coral's ears only.
"He’s one of my guys," Brendon announced proudly as he smiled and clapped along with the others as Spencer did his impression for the gathered men.
"He makes a danged good-looking woman, don't you think?" Tristan asked.
Dean said, “I sure think so.” He put on a leering look.
Griff gave a shy smile and applauded with the rest of them.
Jerome smiled, but didn't answer, secretly he thought that yes, indeed, the baker made a very good-looking woman, but it was certainly nothing he'd tell his wife about.
Spencer, or rather, Madame LeStrange came into the room, smiling and laughing, and gesturing expansively. "This number is for the father of the groom... whoops! We have two grooms here don't we?" she laughed. "Well, to be exact, this one is for you, Mr. Omari Okoro."
She curtsied to Omari and pointed to Torren who began the music. Soon the strains of 'Fly Me To The Moon' wafted across the living room. Omari looked, first surprised, then pleased at his son, who had remembered his favorite song. Coral blushed slightly and returned the smile before turning his attention to their star performer. He was peripherally aware of people still moving about, bringing things in and setting things up, but when he tried to get up to help, Duke and his brother Dean grinned and each put a hand on his shoulder, keeping him seated.
Coral smiled gratefully and clapped with the others when Madame LeStrange finished her first song. When Castiel jumped up onto his lap he petted the large kitten distractedly until the critter swiped at his hand, demanding his full attention. Coral smiled down at the young thing and scratched Castiel's tummy 'til the soft feline purred like an outboard motor.
"Well, seems I have some competition here," Madame LeStrange quipped, eyebrows raised. "I'll have to sing louder, I suppose."
Dean chuckled and leaned in closer to Coral to pet Cas. He liked animals and stroked him softly causing the fur ball to purr even louder. He grinned at the man beside him, who grinned back. “I think he likes you Dean. You too, Griff," he added as Griff took a turn at petting the half-grown cat.
Dean gave his partner a loving look as he said to Coral, “Sure sounds like it, doesn’t it?”
Madame LeStrange turned toward the still stunned Jerome and pointed seductively. "This one's for you, big boy," she purred before breaking into Frank Sinatra's 'I Did It My Way'. The man looked over at Ryan, surprised still that his boy would remember that this was his favorite song and that he would ask this... woman... to sing it for him. He sat enraptured at the flawless tones and graceful movements of the singer before him.
Castiel suddenly jumped out of Coral's arms and ran toward Mutt who had finally sat down.
Ryan grinned and said, "Your nephew has been gettin' impatient." Cas put his paw on Mutt's face and greeted him with a loud, "Meow!"
Mutt smiled widely at the use of the word nephew. He rather liked it. He gently chucked the kitten under the chin and gladly picked up the large ball of fluff. He settled Cas in the crook of his arm like a baby, where he lay, purring loudly while he had his belly rubbed.
Shorty, Little Jake, Jarrod and Bo joined the party shortly afterward, carrying small gifts wrapped in bright paper.
"Now it's a party!" the older twin exclaimed when Madame LeStrange finished her song and curtsied in appreciation to the applause. He quickly walked toward the pile of games and picked one out. "Who's up for a game of 'Never Did I Ever'?"
Ryan bit his lip and looked at Coral. "What's that?" he whispered.
Duke asked, "What do you have to do?"
Dean looked at his brother in surprise. “It’s a drinking game,” he whispered in his ear, not wanting Ryan to hear.
The man’s eyebrows rose, then he smiled in relief as he heard Coral explain the game to everyone.
Coral laughed and said, "It's a game where you have to tell your friends that you've never done a particular thing. Ever. Anyone who has done it, must face a consequence."
"Nuh uh," Little Jake argued, "I want to play Dirty Minds!"
"How about Smartass?" Mutt laughed after he and Jax had read the title on the top of the box. They both knew that their only real competition was Torren and between them they could win hands down.
Jerome winked at Omari. "The first one sounded interesting." He noticed the blank look on his son's face but didn't comment.
Harry grinned. "I'd like to try Smartass."
Ryan asked Coral quietly, "What kind of consequence?"
"For the sake of our guests, all the consequence will be is that the guilty parties must do something silly. Make a face, recite some funny poetry or limerick, that sort of thing."
"Alright, since this is the grooms party, they should be the first to pick. Guys?" Jeff said with a smile.
"I'd like to try Never Did I Ever," the two men said at the same time. Ryan looked at Coral and they laughed and said "Jinx!" at the same time, which caused the room full of men to laugh as well.
"Coral, Coral, Coral!" Mutt called.
"Ryan, Ryan, Ryan!" said Jax.
Torren looked on, uncomprehending.
"Well, we had to unjinx them so that they could play, otherwise they'd be sitting there all night until someone said their names," Jax laughed.
"Oh," Torren replied as though he understood.
Ryan laughed and snuggled closer to Coral.
Duke asked, "Who should go first?"
Coral kissed the top of Ryan's head and asked, "Do you want to start us off, Ry?"
The young man smiled. "Sure."
"Hmm...never did I ever...go down to a lake and feed the ducks," he said.
Heath told a medical joke that had the guys laughing and pretending to gag at the same time.
Duke made a funny face and Harry recited a limerick, as did James.
Dean told a dirty joke while Griff made a funny face, sticking out his tongue.
Jeff recited a risqué piece of poetry while Mutt did a limerick.
Cary also told a dirty joke, while Tank shyly recited an off-color limerick.
Martin did a dirty dance and Greg, laughing, made a funny face.
Omari, with a grin on his face, told a joke that had the entire group laughing to tears.
Coral looked at his father, grinning and impressed. He'd never have thought his father would know a joke like that.
Jerome also made a funny face.
Everyone in the room laughed. Coral was taken by surprise that Ryan's father would do something silly at all, he seemed like such an overly serious man.
Ryan gave his father a surprised look because he had never taken him to feed the ducks. He looked at his fiancé, "Your turn?"
Coral noticed his lover's expression and quickly made a statement. "Never have I ever eaten a bowl of cold spaghetti," he said, knowing perfectly well that his father had, and wondering what Omari would do next.
Ry gave his future husband a nervous look. He had made a funny face, wrinkling his nose as he had eaten cold spaghetti lots of times.
Coral's father gave him a significant look and stood up to sing a few verses of the song, 'I Got a Pea', which had the men in the room laughing all over again.
"I'd like to go next, if I may," Omari said once he'd finished his song.
He waited to make sure it was alright with the other men before he said, "Never have I ever put on a pair of cardboard angel wings and 'flown' across the room."
Jeff grinned. "I haven't."
Jerome laughed. "Neither have I."
Harry looked at Brody and shook his head.
Ryan said, "Me neither."
Jax looked at Heath and James and shrugged.
James chuckled and looked at Jeff. "No one would ever have tagged me as any kind of angel."
All the men in attendance looked at each other and shrugged, except for Coral who had been blushing quite obviously. Finally, he stood up and began to flap his arms, running around the room once before retaking his seat.
"And just so you know," the man said with a grin, "I was five when I did that. Dad ate cold spaghetti just last night, according to Mom."
Ryan laughed at Coral's antics and nudged him. "You've always been an angel, unlike me," he whispered into his ear for him only.
The big man leaned down and whispered, "You're my angel now, and I won't listen to you putting yourself down." He covered his words with a solid kiss. "Who wants to go next?" he asked.
The men all went around in a circle, throwing out their challenges and laughing hysterically at the things people did as their consequence.
Everyone had a wonderful time as they ate the food, took turns petting Castiel, and played several more games. Griff won several hands of Cards Against Humanity, coming up with the best responses which had the men laughing and clapping him on the back, impressed by his quick wit.
Seeing that his friend was uncomfortable, Cary pulled Tank to his feet and joined Mike, cameras in hand, quietly moving around the bungalow snapping pictures.
It was nearly five in the morning when Omari noticed the time and encouraged the men to disburse for the night.
Coral looked at the clock as well and gave his future husband a hug. "It's a good thing we're not having a morning ceremony, or we'd arrive with bags under our eyes," he laughed.
Ryan leaned his head on his man's shoulder and Cas, once again draped across the young man's shoulders, swatted playfully at Coral. "I don't wanna go Coral," Ryan began to whine softly.
The older man chuffed a laugh. "It's only going to be 8 or 9 hours until we see each other again," he said. "That's about as long as a shift, and we've survived that long. It'll be alright Hon," Coral continued, hugging Ryan close and kissing him hard. He wanted to make sure that his lover felt that kiss for the rest of the night.
Ryan returned the kiss and hugged his man tightly. "I didn't think of it like that and yes, we've survived at least that long."
He tried to stay as long as he could, avoiding Harry and Brody, and played a little with Castiel as well.
The other men hurried about, picking up trash, packing away the games, extra chairs and tables, and stacking them before saying their goodbyes as well. Coral appreciated the party and their help cleaning up, but was honestly glad that the night was over.
He looked at Duke, who had shooed Dean and Griff off to their bungalow. The big man would remain to help Coral that afternoon.
"You go ahead and take the bed, Duke. It's not as large as yours but it's a double king and will be more comfortable than the couch."
Duke nodded. "Thanks Coral, you sure you'll be rested enough sleepin' on the couch? Why don't you use your guest bedroom?"
"The mattress is only a queen in the other room. It's a little cramped for me," Coral admitted, "besides, I've fallen asleep here plenty of times in my bachelor days," he joked. "I've got my fuzzy green blanket, and my furry companion here... we'll be fine. Good night, Duke. And thanks again for everything."
The man nodded and then said, "You'd better corral your fiancé and get him to leave with Harry and Brody."
Coral turned around and saw that his boy was helping with the clean-up.
Castiel was on Ryan's shoulders trying to help and kept swatting at whatever the young man was holding at the time.
The older man walked calmly up behind Ryan and took the large kitten off his shoulders, placing the ball of fur on his own before giving his Brat one last, meaningful kiss before turning him with a light swat toward Harry and Brody. "Get going now, Hon. We'll see each other soon. Good night, Angel, and sweet dreams."
Ryan jumped a little at the swat, but dutifully walked over to Harry and Brody with a little pout on his face.
Harry waited for the two men to say their farewells before he and Brody took Ryan with them for the night.
Once everyone had left and all was quiet Duke said, "I'm goin' to turn in now Coral. It was fun."
The other man smiled broadly. "Yes, it most certainly was. Thanks again for everything, Duke. See you later." He watched fondly as his friend walked into the bedroom and closed the door. It was soon after that he could hear the sound of Duke snoring.
Castiel jumped up on Coral, walking all over him and batting at him.
"Don't worry, Cas. Ryan will be alright," he said to the half-grown cat. He then placed the blanket over himself and laid back with Castiel on his chest. "Well kitty, looks like it's just you and me now. Good night."
He fell asleep to the large kitten's contented purring.